United Airlines is writing history in aviation. The carrier has become the first U.S. airline to allow non-binary gender options for customers while booking flights, the company announced Friday.
Effective immediately, passengers will now be able to select the title ''Mx'' when booking flights or signing up to activate their Mileage Plus membership. In addition to that, flyers can now identify themselves as male (m), female (f), undisclosed (u) or unspecified (x).
United's Chief Customer Officer Toby Enqvist added that the carrier also provided additional employee training in collaboration with LGBTQ organizations The Human Rights Campaign and The Trevor Project to make the company personnel well-prepared for the changes. The training also included the use of the preferred pronouns, Enqvist highlighted.
The airline also pointed out that the new initiative is a part of the company's long term strategy ''to lead the industry in LGBT inclusivity.'''
As Beck Bailey, acting director of the Workplace Equality Program at the Human Rights Campaign, explained by providing non-binary gender option during the booking process and the ''Mx'' prefix in the clients' profiles, United Airlines has made a giant leap towards the non-binary inclusion.
It is worth mentioning that The Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) would require passengers to reveal their gender identity before each flight. The authorities would accept any gender identity as soon as it corresponds to the flyer's government-issued ID.
Numerous US states among which Colorado, California, Oregon, Minnesota, Maine and Washington D.C. have already included the X gender option for their driver's licenses.
Earlier last month, the industry trade group Airlines for America (A4A) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved a new international standard for non-binary passengers. It would take effect on June 1.
The implementation of the new gender options depends on the airlines themselves, A4A confirmed, saying that it would become an industry standard as of June 1.
Alaska Airlines' spokesperson Anna Johnson commented the company was also planning to include such an option but did not have a deadline.
Southwest Airlines' spokesperson Michelle Agnew responded in a similar fashion highlighting that the air carrier is currently working on the technical requirements to provide customers with the non-binary options.
American Airlines is also investigating the options at the moment.
Delta, which is the only one of the five biggest airlines not a member of A4A, also confirmed its commitment to meet the needs of its diverse customer population.
What is your view on that? Do you think it would have a positive effect on the inclusivity of LGBT people?